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Introducing: Imperial Daze

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New band on the block Imperial Daze had a quietly confident start, setting up their own studio in 2016 after earning money for songs that they wrote for PlayStation.

Image Courtesy of Imperial Daze via Prescription PR

The Peckham-based group subsequently released a small string of singles, which were particularly eye-catching (or ‘ear-catching’, in this case) for Rupert Jarvis, who has taken it upon himself to mentor the band. Jarvis has become manager and producer for the London four-piece, who told us he's been a “huge help to the band and a really good friend”. Jarvis has also been heavily involved in “the recording process, helping to shape sound both in the studio and for the live shows”.

Imperial Daze draw from a plethora of different styles, new singles ‘Man Out Of Myself’ and ‘Always Settling’ are commanded by flitting, futuristic synth pangs, a fusion of synthpop and psychedelic, grunge-guitar distortions, whereas tracks from their debut EP Solid Fair exude chilled, funky-bass roots. It is no surprise then, that their inspirations are eclectic, to say the least. The band told us “when it comes to the song-writing, singers like Frank Sinatra, John Lennon, Damon Albarn or Alex Turner are essential names”.

The influence of the Arctic Monkeys frontman is particularly notable in seductively smooth electric guitar strums that carry their early releases. The group also draws heavily from “old surf music records and 60s psychedelic rock” for guitar tones, fusing together the old and the new, with “synth, keyboard and sonic influences from Pink Floyd and Tame Impala”. Interestingly, they also pay homage to slow-grooving funk-goodness in their rhythmic forms, taking inspirations from The Meters and Zero 7, mixing them with lead singer Alex’s “simple bossa-nova beats written on his old Technics organ”.

Though the band draw from such a huge range of influences, their most defining sound to date can be pinned down on ‘Man Out Of Myself’ which oozes sonic-spiration from The Maccabees. Though it’s been newly released, it was actually the first song the band wrote together. The boys told us that this single best represents them because it encapsulates what they believe a “pop song should be”, and it is “the most spontaneous example” of their sound.

Imperial Daze's latest track 'Man Out of Myself'

Keen to smash the stereotypical "London indie band" trope, Imperial Daze are moving towards a “more cinematic sound”, inspired by a recent collaboration with director Nathan Sam Long. They pride themselves on their refusal to succumb to expectations, “we don't only sing high-up with tons of reverb or drowned in auto-tune. There's a certain rawness we like to keep in”. The band strays from the linear process of creating lyrics, keeping them cheeky with “a desire to relate”. Frontman Alex is mainly responsible for the themes of balance and contrast in their songwriting, and he tells us, “With that in mind, the lyrics explore the simple themes of life, love, art and pleasure”.

Running parallel to their modern outtake on life is a tangible sense of sentimentality, which is best embodied in the cover art for their more recent singles ‘Man Out Of Myself’ and ‘Always Settling’. Created by bassist Felix's late father, who was an artist in the 1980s and recently passed away, Imperial Daze have been left with an “incredible collection of works to choose from”, which they were “very proud to be able to use”.

Imperial Daze are certainly ones to watch in the New Year, particularly as they widen their cinematic soundscape under Nathan Sam Long's watchful eye. Sadly, we can’t expect anything “meaty” from them just yet, but they'll be busy in early 2019 building relationships in London, Paris, and the Bath/Bristol area for Nightbus UK. 

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